A MOTHER with a "vary rare" condition was told she had a five per cent chance of surviving life-saving surgery, an inquest heard.
Glennis Burns-Mace, of Swynnerton, agreed to the operation, to tackle a sciatic hernia, however, saying "I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't", son Adam Burns-Mace told Cannock Coroner's Court on Tuesday.
Mrs Burns-Mace's condition was so rare that medics wanted to video the procedure on April 24, needed to save her life.
She had been admitted to Stafford Hospital on April 18, suffering from abdominal pain, diarrhoea, rectal bleeding and pain in her left hip.
A CT scan revealed a significant left sciatic hernia (protrusion of an organ into another party, which had trapped her sigmoid colon (part of her bowel) and affected her left ureter, which connects the kidney with the bladder,
The 81-year old also had a heart condition, the inquest heard. But if she had not undergone surgery "she would have died", pathologist Paul Hiley told the inquest.
Her procedure, carried out by surgeon Michael Hershman, started as laproscopic (keyhole) surgery but when obstruction in her bowel was found it became open surgery.
Perforation of the bowel was also found, so the damaged part was removed and a colostomy carried out, Dr Hiley said.
Mr Hershman was unable to close the hernia with tissue from the surrounding area so the gap was closed by moving her uterus into place, the inquest heard.
Mrs Burns-Mace was also suffering from metabolic acidosis, worsening renal failure and sepsis however.
On May 3 nephrostomy, a procedure involving the insertion of a tube into her left kidney to drain urine, was carried out. But her condition continued to deteriorate and she died on May 4.
In her final hours it is believed she was bleeding into her abdominal cavity, and a post-mortem revealed a litre of blood there. Dr Hiley could not be sure where the bleed had originated, although it may have come from the site where her uterus was fixed, he said.
Mrs Burns-Mace's cause of death was given as bowel and myocardial ischemia (a lack of oxygen to the bowel and heart) due to intra-abdominal haemorrhage due to hernia, operated on on April 24.
Son Edward Burns-Mace told the inquest: "She kept going to her GP; in her mind she was aware something was not quite right. From her visits to the GP to going to hospital was a rather long, drawn-out process.
"She had great trust and faith in Stafford Hospital, she couldn't praise it enough and had stayed there for six to eight weeks after having a quadruple hear bypass at Stoke."
His brother added: "If it was a rare condition local GPs possibly aren't looking for it or diagnosing it. But I have no blame for the medical system. I think they did extremely well towards the end."
South Staffordshire Coroner Andrew Haigh recorded a verdict of death from a complication of life-extending surgery.
He added that he would write to Mrs Burns-Mace's GP to ask for an explanation of the events leading up to her admission to hospital.